Friday, 5 July 2013



I couldn’t sleep last night, woke at three-thirty with the full moon’s light making my mind lively. I got to thinking of the time I walked along the cliffs at St Bees, heading down to Fleswick Bay. You can sometimes find semi-precious stones: moonstones and tiger’s eye there, but that day I heard groans and chuckles vibrating underneath my feet. 

I stopped. Yes. Muffled moans and growls seemed to be coming from below the earth and grass I was walking on.  I carried on, still wondering about what could be making those noises! Anyhow, I spent time down on the beach, searching for semi precious stones, taking photos of the strange and haunting human-shaped sandstone and watching gannets dive. When I got home I googled cliff-nesting birds and their calls and discovered it was puffins I’d heard.

This morning I recalled that moment and those sounds and wondered about the faith those baby puffins must have, leaping off the cliff for the first time with their parent. A leap of faith, survival and trust.

I’m glad the full moon kept me awake and lively, recalling the sounds I’d heard that day on the cliffs of St Bega, washed up in a coracle - so legend has it - on the shores of West Cumbria.

(from 'Salt Road' Indigo Dreams, pub. late summer 2013)

Photos of sandstone, sculpted by waves and the Irish Sea, taken by Geraldine Green 28.6.2010

here's what puffins sound like

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